Cool crisp air is one of the signs that fall has arrived, and it doesn’t take very long for the changing season to take a toll on your skin. Seasonal dryness is one of the most common skin irritations andDr. Stella Jansen van Rensburg says keeping your skin healthy during fall and winter will help prevent permanent damage.

“One of the best ways to achieve healthy skin is to make sure it gets the moisture it needs,” Dr. Jansen van Rensburg says. “The skin is the bodies largest organ and taking care of it will help your overall health.”

Dr. Jansen van Rensburg says these few key steps will help the skin stay hydrated during the colder months.

  • Exfoliate with a soft brush or gentle scrub to get rid of dry patches. Once dead skin cells are removed, a moisturizer will more fully hydrate the skin. Exfoliation also increases blood circulation which enhances the skins ability to recover from dryness. It also helps unclog pores where oil and dirt are trapped under the surface of the skin. Open pores will absorb moisturizer better than closed ones.
  • Use warm water to wash your face. Hot water makes the outer layers of the skin swell and make it more resistant to moisturizer. On the other side, cold water can help temporarily reduce swelling, but it is not the best choice for daily use. Contrary to popular belief, water temperature does not open and close pores. Overall, warm water is the best temperature because it is the least reactive.
  • Moisturize from the inside out with a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy oils are proven to significantly reduce acne and ward off wrinkles. These acids regulate oil production inside the body and help boost hydration.
  • Sleep with a humidifier Moisture evaporates from the air more easily in the fall and the drier air in turn dries out the skin. Because you can’t walk around with a humidifier on your face all day, it’s more practical to use one at night. Sleeping with a humidifier will restore moisture back in the air and help your skin soak in your moisturizer more effectively.
  • Moisturize day and night but with different products. Your daytime moisturizer should help protect and hydrate your skin. Even though the UV exposure is less in the fall and winter, it’s still important to use a lotion with sunscreen in it. Nighttime is when the corrective work should happen. While you sleep, your moisturizer should help to hydrate and heal your skin. Creams that enhance your skins recovery process and soothe irritated spots are best.

Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness. Many skin irritations and rashes can be easily remedied with proper attention and care. If dry patches become infected or spread despite being treated, visit a doctor so the root cause of the issue can be further examined. For Dr. Jansen van Rensburg’s recommended skin care system, click here.